One stop pre-op first at hospital

A Suffolk hospital has become the first in the country to set up a “one stop pre-op shop.”Officials at the West Suffolk Hospital at Bury St Edmunds say that rather than patients being sent from pillar to post for a range of tests before surgery, waiting times will be cut and patient care improved following the formation of a pre-assessment clinic and waiting list office in one place.

A Suffolk hospital has become the first in the country to set up a “one stop pre-op shop.”

Officials at the West Suffolk Hospital at Bury St Edmunds say that rather than patients being sent from pillar to post for a range of tests before surgery, waiting times will be cut and patient care improved following the formation of a pre-assessment clinic and waiting list office in one place.

The pioneering idea was the brainchild of consultant anaesthetist and clinical director Dr Pam Chrispin and aims to provide pre-operation patients with blood, heart beat and a range of other tests at the same place and enable them to book a date for their surgery there and then. It also aims to avoid staff asking the same questions over and over again.

Dr Chrispin said patients had previously felt they were on a “conveyor belt” and she did not know of any other hospital that had a “one-stop shop” pre-assessment clinic and waiting list office.


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She said: “Before, the process was hugely inconvenient for the patient. They were walking miles around the hospital and being asked the same things over and over again. One man told me he had been asked whether he had any allergies 18 times.

“We wanted to create a one-stop shop to provide everything the patient needed, and the hospital needed, in one go. It also provides the patient with time for reflection and an extra opportunity to talk to staff who know what is going to happen during the operation.”

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The pre-admission process also checks whether a patient is fit for surgery and, if appropriate, will also point them in the direction of smoking cessation services, dieticians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, and refer them back to their GP, so that the success of the operation is not compromised by their health.

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